Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis)
Elderberries, beautiful, vigorous, useful, and steeped in folklore. Once established, elderberry shrubs can send 9 foot shoots up in a single season. In mid-summer their giant white flower heads attract bees and other pollinating insects.The flowers turn to dark fruit that is ripe towards the end of summer.
Elderberries are used for making pies, jams, candies, syrup, cough medicine, juice, and wine. They are loved by birds.
Elderberries have powerful immune boosting qualities. Their health benefits and ease of care make them a serious candidate for commercial production. Elderberry orchards are being experimented with all over the country.
The stems have a soft pith for their core and can easily be hollowed out to make flutes and maple syrup taps. Caution: Stems should be dried before using, as green stems are poisonous.
Elderberries can grow just about anywhere, they prefer rich, moist soils. They are cold hardy to at least -30f. Plant two varieties for best pollination, though some individuals have no problem self-pollinating.
Varieties (all our varieties are sambucus canadensis):
Wild Elder- Native sambucus canadensis. Productive, vigorous plants. Berries are not as large as some cultivated selections, but they make a lot of fruit and are great pollinators.
Bubby- A chance seedling we planted at Bubby's house. It is self-pollinating and bears unbelievable amounts of fruit every year. Able to bear fruit on new wood. Berries are small, but the clusters are abundant and good size. Pound for pound, this bush makes a lot of fruit.
York- Self pollinating, very large berries. One of the oldest and most productive varieties. Originating from New York. Able to bear fruit on new wood, so it can be cut to the ground every year.
Scotia- Huge berries, extremely vigorous plant. Needs a pollinator. Bears on two year old wood. Old variety originating from Nova Scotia.
Wyldewood- Huge flower clusters give way to equally large clusters of fruit. Vigorous plant, bears on new wood. Partially Self pollinating. Chance seedling originating from Oklahoma.
Marge- Hybrid of European and American elder. Highly productive with huge flower heads and berries. Selected by Marge Millican
Samdal- European elderberry with very high levels of anthocyanin.